If you wanted a beautiful HDTV with great picture quality and plenty of features, you would have to aim for a flagship model. At least, that was the case a few years back but companies like Samsung are changing things as they want their digital living room ecosystem to reach more people. This means that you have to be aware of the full lineup of HDTVs especially if you are in a budget. The Samsung UN46F7100 is a pretty good example because it has a lot of the features that the flagship F8000 series have but it is priced several hundreds of dollars less than a similarly-sized F8000 version.
The Samsung F8000 TVs are on a league of their own but they do not exactly make the UN46F7100 look inferior. The Samsung UN46F7100 is still a gorgeous-looking display especially when you factor in the sub $2,000 price because it gives the impression of the flagship. HDTV designs nowadays are all about how the large display is presented. Thin bezels are the main attraction at the moment and the UN46F7100 delivers with a pencil-thin bezel. Samsung’s signature chrome silver quad-stand is used by this 46-inch display too making it a stylish way to support the display. It is also nice that you can swivel the stand 10 degrees left or right so you can easily get a better view. Of course, you can detach the stand and mount the TV on the wall which also looks great.
Adjustments to the TV might not be so necessary because of the quality of the display. The panel itself has its own unique name (Ultra Clear Panel) and the functionality lives up to its name. You won’t have to worry about sunlight or ambient lighting no matter where the TV is placed because the Ultra Clear Panel absorbs the light so the display keeps its impressive picture quality. The display also helps make the colors a bit more vibrant and the blacks deeper. Combined with good contrast and shadows, the Ultra Clear Panel makes the Samsung UN46F7100 special.
The UN46F7100 features 4 HDMI ports which is pretty standard for TVs these days. That should be enough for a couple of gaming consoles and a media player. You can always add more devices if you have an AV receiver.
The display houses a few internal tricks that make the Samsung UN46F7100 even more impressive. It uses the Micro Dimming technology which significantly enhances the screen’s brightness so you get whiter whites in addition to the deeper blacks. It may be the most basic form of the Micro Dimming technology compared to more expensive Samsung displays but it still makes this TV far better than the cheaper Samsung displays that lack this technology. The TV doesn’t always have to be as bright as possible and you can manually adjust the setting if you like. But you probably won’t have to thanks to the Samsung Eco Sensor which automatically picks the best brightness setting based on the ambient lighting. It is a great energy-saving feature that doesn’t require any intervention. Samsung stays committed to making eco-friendly displays and the UN46F7100 manages to meet Energy Star 6.0 requirements.
The Samsung UN46F7100 is a 3D display as well so all those Blu-ray movies that are offered in 3D can be enjoyed. 4 pairs of 3D active glasses are included as well so you don’t have to spend extra for a handful of people to enjoy the added depth. Plus, the 2D to 3D conversion feature works better than previous models so you can enjoy just about any movie or TV show in 3D even if it doesn’t have any specific 3D content.
The refresh rate plays an important role in the overall picture quality too because blurry motion visuals can be quite disturbing. The UN46F7100 has a 240 Hz refresh rate but that is only part of the bigger picture. Samsung also takes backlight technology and image processor speed into consideration which is why Samsung has a “Clear Motion Rate” of 720. It is the middle-of-the-road figure compared to higher-end models which have a much higher Clear Motion Rate value but the TV still handles fast-moving visuals pretty well.
Samsung continues to promote their Smart TV initiative in their 2013 models and this time around, the entire experience is getting some nice upgrades. The good news is that the Samsung UN46F7100 obtains much of these improvements. The most important improvement is the interface overhaul which makes it much easier to do things online or on the local network. It is a simple manner of picking the right tab whether you want to load a Samsung app, check a status update on Facebook or Twitter or see the latest stuff on TV with Samsung’s new S-Recommendation. It is far easier to navigate and the dual-core processor contributes nicely to the performance. It gives way to things like the Recent History feature so you can reopen apps even while currently running an existing one. The performance of the Web browser app is smoother too thanks to this improved processor. You can also use the Allshare feature to stream content from many Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets as well as PCs and laptops. Getting connected is simple thanks to the built-in wireless LAN.
The UN46F7100 may lack the Smart Interaction features that are exclusive for higher-end Samsung models but Samsung still decided to package this TV with the Smart Touch Remote Control which makes it easier to use TV apps. Plus, you can control the TV using your voice since this remote control comes with a built-in microphone.
Unless you absolutely want the bleeding edge quality, the Samsung UN46F7100 is a pretty smart choice. The new Smart TV interface already makes this TV feel like it offers much more than past flagship models. It performs well overall and has very good picture quality. With some stores currently selling this display for less than $1,500, the UN46F7100 may very well be one of the best 46-inch TVs if you are really looking for quality and functionality.
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